Baylor track and field head coach Todd Harbour (women’s coach of the year) and freshman sprinter Maxwell Willis (men’s outstanding freshman of the year) were honored for their accomplishments during the 2017 indoor season, the Big 12 Conference announced Thursday.
Harbour directed Baylor’s women’s team to its first conference championship in program history. BU set school records in points scored (129.5) and event champions (5) to win its first team trophy at the Big 12 Indoor Championship, Feb. 24-25, in Ames, Iowa.
During the conference meet, Harbour personally coached the distance crew, which piled up 19 points in the 3,000 meters, including Big 12 champion Maggie Montoya, and 17 points in the 5,000 meters. He also coached the middle distance squad, including freshmen Alison Andrews-Paul (6th in 800m) and Aaliyah Miller (4th in 1,000m). Previously, Harbour guided Miller to a school record in the 800 meters (2:02.89) at the Iowa State Classic, which was also a Big 12 record. Heading into the conference meet, BU earned its highest-ever indoor national ranking at No. 7.
Harbour who is in his 12th-season as head coach, is the second BU coach to receive the women’s coach of the year honor in the indoor season, joining current director of track and field Clyde Hart, who captured the award in 2005 in his last season as head coach of the program.
The women’s squad will now have six entries to the NCAA Indoor Championships, which run March 10-11 in College Station, Texas.
Willis, a freshman from Upper Marlboro, Md., won the Big 12 Indoor 200-meter title in a personal-best time of 20.76. That win combined with a runner-up finish in the 60 meters, while also serving as the lead-off leg for BU’s second-place 4x400-meter relay gave Willis 20 points scored at the meet. That total was just .5 points away from tying for the high-point scorer across the conference.
He is the sixth Baylor male athlete and the second straight to win the indoor freshman honor, joining Brian Couts (1998), Tre Gardner (1999), Jacob Norman (2006), Felix Obi (2013) and Wil London (2015).
Willis will now represent the Bears at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the 200 meters. He owns the nation’s 15th-fastest time and is the only freshman in that event at the meet.
To stay current on all things Baylor Track, follow the team on Twitter: @BaylorTrack.
2017 Big 12 Indoor Track & Field Outstanding Performer of the Year
MEN: Senoj-Jay Givans, Texas
WOMEN: Jhoanmy Luque, Iowa State
2017 Big 12 Indoor Track & Field Outstanding Freshman of the Year
MEN: Maxwell Willis, Baylor
WOMEN: Rushelle Burton, Texas
2017 Big 12 Indoor Track & Field Coach of the Year
MEN: Mario Sategna, Texas
WOMEN: Todd Harbor, Baylor